Disputing a locksmith's exorbitant charges?
July 8, 2009 8:21 PM Subscribe
Disputing a locksmith's exorbitant fees?
posted by fogster to work & money (14 answers total)
I'm asking for a coworker, because I've been overhearing this saga for two weeks and vowed to get involved.
A coworker had her front door lock jam the other day. She had to climb in through a window, and discovered that the lock was jammed on the inside, too. She researched local locksmiths and went with a firm that says on their site that they'll match any competitor's offer. She called for a quote and was told that the locksmith would give a quote before beginning work.
Lo and behold, the locksmith just began work and told her not to worry about the estimate. He unscrewed part of the doorknob and used a hammer to unstick it, and then removed the defective doorknob and lock. He asked if she wanted him to put a new one on; she asked about price and was told that new doorknob was $300. Shocked at the price, she declined, and the guy billed her $200 (plus a reasonable service fee for coming out), effectively for banging her doorknob off with a hammer.
She paid, but was surprised at the cost, so she called competitors. Every competitor said they'd have done the whole job—including installing a new doorknob, and including the parts costs of that—for under $200. So she contacted the company, and has spent the past two weeks getting the runaround.
Part of the tricky part is that the services were rendered, and she did pay it, so trying to get the credit card company to reverse the charges seems unethical.
What other options are there? We can be vengeful and raise a big stink on online review sites and with various other groups like the Better Business Bureau, but she wants to get this resolved, not to try to harm them. Any ideas, hivemind?